Google+ lets users build authority, generate leads and gain additional exposure on the most widely used search engine in the country. Business owners who already have accounts with Google can open a Google+ account and start taking advantage of these benefits.
Business Pages on Google+
Google+ allows users to create a business page, similar to Facebook’s Fan Pages. Companies can use business pages to post links back to their website. Since multiple links are allowed, many businesses create specific landing pages with prominent contact information to generate qualified leads.
Getting Additional Google Exposure with Google+ Posts
Posting on Google+ is similar to Facebook; posts are public, private or shared with specific groups, known as circles. Public posts are indexed by Google and show in search results if they contain keywords related to the query.
Quality posts from Google+ now show in Google News search results. People searching Google News would see the company’s post that discusses the news event, establishing the business as an authoritative source.
Google+ lets users claim authorship of articles and blog posts posted on the user’s business website or blog. Authorship information may be shown in Google’s search results and attorneys who add a professional-quality head shot to their profile will see their photo, plus a snippet of their post in search results. Authorship information with a photo makes the entry stand out from other results on the page.
Google+ Hangout Benefits
Google+ has a feature that is ideal for professionals such as physicians or attorneys; the Google Hangout. Hangouts are essentially public or private video chats with up to nine other Google+ users. Consider the chats a chance to hold a podcast, explaining the advantages of using a businesses services in specific situations. If the host of a public hangout has a YouTube account, the Hangout is archived as a YouTube video, which can continue to generate leads long after the video chat is over.
Since Google merged local searches with Google+, it’s more important than ever for business owners to utilize Google+. Google+ Local allows consumers to search for local businesses easily; the Internet has become the new Yellow Pages. Any business can set up a Google+ Local business page and submit photos and a short company profile in addition to contact information. Google displays this information, along with reviews submitted by Google+ users, in local searches. Potential clients see a wide range of pertinent information with just one click but, if they need more information, they can visit the website listed.
The ability to add pictures to Google+ Local listings appears to benefit restaurants and clubs where ambiance is important, however, any business can take advantage of this feature. Pictures of owners and support staff are important to potential clients, who like being able to have as much information as possible about whom they will see if they make an appointment.
The benefits of using Google+ are enormous. Google+ is free and Google is a respected name in social networking, worthy of use by professionals. Businesses who need more exposure on Google and more leads from qualified individuals cannot afford to miss out.
Sarah Smith, who has just started using Google+ in the last few months. She’s got a lot of catching up to do, and so has been reading up on Google+ business pages, as well as authorship and Google Local pages. She hopes to master Google+ in 2014.